The Navaratri Natakotsava being staged at the Rangayana here has become a big hit with the 18 artistes of the repertory coming together.

Theatre buffs are thronging the auditorium making the Natakotsava a big success. The plays staged from October 5 to 8 have run to full houses. Pugazhendi Prahasana on October 5, Chirebandi Vade on October 6, Krishnegowdana Aane on October 7 and Chandrahasa on October 8 were some of the classics staged.

H. Janardhan (Janni), Director of Rangayana, who took over recently, said it was heartening to see the 18 artistes perform as one unit. He said only 30 per cent of the regular theatre lovers were attending the Natakotsava as the rest were new, terming them as the ‘Dasara crowd’.

Even the new crowd sat riveted to their seats till the two-and-half to three-hour plays ended. Rajesh, a theatre enthusiast said 150 passes were being issued to enthusiasts each day. The return of the artistes together has made a big difference, Mr. Rajesh told The Hindu .

Theatre critic Ramachandra Ganga said the Chirebandi Vade was appreciated by Minister of State for Kannada and Culture Umashree, who witnessed the play on Sunday. The State has granted Rs. two lakh for the nine-day drama festival.

The plays coming up are Sadarame on October 10, Beechi Bullets on October 11, En Huchuri ….Yakingadtiri on October 12 and Shoodra Tapasvi on October 13. Plays will start at 6.30 p.m. on all days.

On the sudden exit of Brazilian theatre artiste Elisa Toledo Todd from Mysore, Mr. Janardhan said the issue of fixing the financial burden on preparing plays had come in the way. Ms. Todd was here last month insisting that all 18 professional artistes of the Rangayana come together to organise the play. According to Mr. Janardhan, she prepared a hefty budget to conduct the plays, which included the expenses of her stay and emoluments. Finally, when it was scaled down to just Rs. 7 lakh, there were no takers, neither the Brazilian nor the Indian Embassy.

‘Return of the 18 artistes has made

big difference’